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2012 Fischer Vacuum Ski Boot: A Game Changer - Page 17

post #481 of 1290

MephitBlue's story about the low stock was enough for me to go to Ski Stop today and pick up the black and white Vacuum 130 boots and custom footbeds.  This was my first time going to a bootfitter so it was a very interesting experience.  We started with my skiing background and foot evaluation then shell fitting and trying a couple different boots.  I told him that while I was interested in the Vacuum boots I'd go with whatever boot he thought would be best for me.  I tried on the Atomic Hawx 100 and Lange Super Blaster 120 to start with.  The flex on the Hawx was way too soft and I had no issues flexing the SB 120 so we went to the Vacuum 130.  Good flex and other than the toes feeling a bit cramped I didn't feel any pressure points like I did with the SB 120's.

 

I don't know the technical term for what's happening with my right foot but the forefoot near the big toe doesn't sit flat so I have a hard time applying even pressure along the inside of the foot.  I was thinking of getting custom footbeds anyway so we went ahead with those.  He couldn't do them today so I'm going back next weekend for the final fit and the Vacuum machine step of the process.

 

I would have picked whatever boot was the best option but I'm very happy that the Vacuum was the one I ended up with.


Edited by TheArchitect - 10/1/11 at 3:57pm
post #482 of 1290

I called up The Custom Foot in Denver today; they were running low already so I went ahead and reserved a 130 in my size to get fitted next Saturday.  The anticipation is killing me right now!

post #483 of 1290
63701fc0-cbe3-aa34.jpg

This is two 130 Pro's if you notice the boot on the left is stock and the boot on the right has been molded. The change in the forefoot is close to 10mm and in the mid foot /venicular region is almost 15mm. Even the visual difference in huge.
---
post #484 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by docmartin View Post

ouch! vacuum or not, first doing a shell fit for length is crucial. there is no difference in the size of the shell between a 28 and a 28.5. only the liner is a little larger which does not hurt. it's all about the shell. the vacuums only come with the larger liner in each shell size ie only in the half sizes.


bad info docmartin. no alpine boot manufacturer makes 2 liner sizes per shell. so for clarity:

 

in alpine boots, a 26 and a 26.5 are the same shell. the liner in the 26 and the 26.5 are the same. the only difference between these 2 sizes is the sticker on the boot that says 26 or 26.5.

 

also i am seeing many experts out here claiming that there are 2 different thickness of insoles between 26 and 26.5. also untrue, at least not true in most boots that retail for over $450.00. those boots all have the same thickness insole.

 

so back to my point there is no difference, let's stop confusing epic members with false info.

 

jim

post #485 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by exfalso View Post

hi, another experience here (and my first post!, although I've been lurking for a longer time)

 

I bought the 130 black/white model in Austria last week. My old Rossignol Radical (don't know the exact model) boots are size 27.5, those had conform'able insoles (though I never felt they helped much) and needed a lot of punching out in the toe area, but never fit truly comfortably. The salesman said that the Vacuum Fit process would have no problems dealing with the width of my feet, so I chose size 27.5 again for the Vacuum boots.

 

The first fit was done with the small, harder, toe caps, and a little padding on the side of my foot, 200mbar. The fit seemed reasonable, but I didn't have them on for too long in the store after fitting. After driving back to the appartment (and getting rear-ended by a drunk Austrian in lederhosen) I began having my doubts, noticing that the new Fischer liner was tighter in all directions than my old Rossignol. These doubts were confirmed the next day, walking with the shoes was really painful, skiing terrible.

 

I took them back to the store the next day, where I expected them to redo the vacuum process with more padding and a bigger toe cap. Instead they wanted to grind out the shell. I reluctantly agreed. The day after that, I took them to the skiing area again, but the fit still wasn't good. My big toe really bumped hard against the shell, making the 100m walk between the last two sections of the Hintertux Gletscher Bus very painful. Skiing wasn't much better either, so after two runs I took off the boots as quickly as possible and took the Gletscher Bus back to the village.

 

There, I took them to the nearest sports shop with a Vacuum machine (not the store where I bought them, which was a few hours driving away)  and had them adjusted again, this time with the bigger neoprene toe caps and lots of extra padding, including on my big toes, 200mbar again. I was happy to take off the shoes after 7 long minutes on the vacuum machine with so much padding.  Actually a little longer since one of the pressure pads "exploded' because the zipper broke, followed by the salesmen quickly scrambling to find a replacement. I had to pay 30 euro for the adjustment since I hadn't bought the shoes there. In Austria, most ski resorts seem to have a store that carries the Vacuum boots.

 

The next day, I came back to try them again. The fit was better, more space, but still far from comfortable. I took them off after every few runs. The main problem is my two smallest toes getting curled up when applying pressure to the foot. The upper side of the boots is really good, no pressure points, but my toes are still very unhappy.

 

Now I'm back in the Netherlands, where I live, and I'm contemplating what to do. There are only three stores in the country with a Fischer Vacuum machine, fortunately one is nearby. They already have the machine, but are still awaiting their first shipment of boots. I think that redoing the vacuum process with still more padding and perhaps some manual stretching, they might become comfortable enough to ski without me wanting to rip them off after every few runs. Otherwise, I could just take my loss, sell this pair and buy a new one (probably B/W 130 or RC4 130) in size 28.5 (The salesman told me that there was no 28.0, is that correct?)


I had a similar experience with a custom boot fit (ancient technology of injected foam liners), unfortunately for me I was unable to complete the tweaking process with the original boot fitter after a couple of days of break-in, who obviously had a plan worked out. Long story short, after trying the punch-out-the- shell solution and some boot work by another fitter that only seemed to lose me a bit of performance without giving me a pain free ride, and trying new boots, I returned to my old boots, armed with some knowledge gained from the bootfitters on this forum. The problem was the liners, needed to be cut open to stop my little toes and the outside of my feet near the little toes from being tightly squished. I'm pretty sure had I had one of them (boot fitters, not little toes wink.gif ) do the job, instead of doing it myself, the results would have been better. Try the liners without the boot shells and see how the liners fit.
post #486 of 1290

Thanks for the tips guys. The liners feel fairly tight but not uncomfortably so, I'm pretty sure that it's mostly the shell that needs work if I want to fit in the 27.5. I've also not skied them enough to give them a chance to pack out (the material is different from my old boots, with a layer of soft foam, my old Rossignols only had a harder foam layer, like the RC4 Vacuum, so I expect these to pack out a little more). Where did you cut them?

 

The shell fit is relatively tight, although I'm sure that a very good bootfitter could still make them work for me :) I originally planned to go to Leitner in Bichlbach for fitting during my stay in Austria, since they're likely to have a lot of experience with these and other boots. The owner of that store is co-owner of the Fischer vacuum patent. Unfortunately they were closed for holiday during my stay.

 

I bought my old Rossignols nearby at a local ski school (not real snow, but a rolling carpet, it is the Netherlands after all) who claim to be very good at bootfitting. Unfortunately I was quite disappointed with their service. After trying numerous boots, I settled for the Rossignols but they needed some adjustments to give my small toes more space. I had to come back a few times for the adjustments, but they were very slow, often taking a week or longer do do a small punch-out, and were seemingly not very happy about having to do all the extra work, leaving me feel more like the guy who always complains about his feet than as a customer whose boots just need adjustments. One time they even forgot to do it at all when I came to pick up my boots after a week. They had to fix them at the last day before I left for a week's vacation to Austria, leaving me unable to test them before. I had to rent other boots that week....

 

The only other nearby store with a decent range of boots is the local sports shop with the vacuum machine. They do have all the fancy machinery (like the ones to make custom footbeds), but I'm not sure that they have the required expertise to get the most out of them. They will do free adjustments on the vacuum machine, with more padding, different pressure etc, until the boots fit perfectly if I buy a new pair there (at least that's what they claim). I can test the boots in the Netherlands on indoor slopes (500m of gentle, many would say boring, slope, real snow though).

 

I hope to have a good pair of boots before my next trips to the mountains (Probably a week in Austria in November, depending on snow conditions, BC in December). I think I'll try the 28.5 vacuums in the local store, and perhaps a few other pairs, keeping them on much longer and walking more on them, to see if pressure points develop. Anything in particular I should watch out for?

post #487 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by starthaus View Post

bad info docmartin. no alpine boot manufacturer makes 2 liner sizes per shell. so for clarity:

 

in alpine boots, a 26 and a 26.5 are the same shell. the liner in the 26 and the 26.5 are the same. the only difference between these 2 sizes is the sticker on the boot that says 26 or 26.5.

 

also i am seeing many experts out here claiming that there are 2 different thickness of insoles between 26 and 26.5. also untrue, at least not true in most boots that retail for over $450.00. those boots all have the same thickness insole.

 

so back to my point there is no difference, let's stop confusing epic members with false info.

 

jim

 

The two boots are identical other than the sticker?  Why do they bother doing that?  If they're saying they have half sizes shouldn't they actually be half-sizes?  BTW, I don't doubt you; I'm just confused about the reasoning behind it.
 

 

post #488 of 1290
Quote:

Originally Posted by TheArchitect View Post

 

The two boots are identical other than the sticker?  Why do they bother doing that?  If they're saying they have half sizes shouldn't they actually be half-sizes?  BTW, I don't doubt you; I'm just confused about the reasoning behind it

 


 

Give The People What They Want. People think they need half sizes so tah-dah! There are 1/2 size stickers. It's way easier to placate people then it is to educate people who 'know what they need'.

post #489 of 1290
nonono2.gif It gives the customer the illusion that the company actually went to the trouble to make a shell that matches foot size to a precision that isn't really there.

The beer companies do the same thing. They sell "pints" that are only 12 ounces. wink.gif

And don't get me started on buying a cord of firewood.mad.gif
post #490 of 1290

Okay, I figured it was something like that.  I guess as long as it fits it doesn't really matter what size it is.  Interesting to know, though.

post #491 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

63701fc0-cbe3-aa34.jpg
This is two 130 Pro's if you notice the boot on the left is stock and the boot on the right has been molded. The change in the forefoot is close to 10mm and in the mid foot /venicular region is almost 15mm. Even the visual difference in huge.
---


It's pretty amazing to see the difference.  Amazing was the word my bootfitter used a few times to describe the Vacuums.  It appears that Fischer really does have a Game Changer on their hands.  I wonder how the other manufacturers will respond.

 

post #492 of 1290

By the way, the vacuum shells feel much softer than the PU material from other boots, and scratch easier (with deeper scratches). Does anyone have an idea about the durability? The yellow RC4 boots don't have the replaceable sole pads that the B/W models have.

 

I figure most ppl only had their vacuums for a few weeks, but perhaps someone already ran a marathon on them, or clicked them in/out of the binding 10000 times for fun wink.gif

post #493 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by exfalso View Post

By the way, the vacuum shells feel much softer than the PU material from other boots, and scratch easier (with deeper scratches). Does anyone have an idea about the durability? The yellow RC4 boots don't have the replaceable sole pads that the B/W models have.


The replaceable pads were a primary reason I went with the b/w instead of the pros -- I do too much scrambling over rocks and even walking through the parking lot.  (Saving $100 didn't hurt either.)

 

Supposedly, the shell material is more consistently flexible across the sub-molding temperature range than that used in conventional boots.  In other words, the boot will flex pretty much the same at 5° as at 50° -- something that definitely can't be said for conventional boots.

post #494 of 1290

After going back to the shop where I bought my Vac. 110's and speaking with the Fischer Rep. and the head bootfitter we came to the conclusion that I would be better suited to the 130 flex version rather than the 110 which I purchased a few days ago. The guys at Suburban Ski took care of everything and I was out the door in no time. Albeit a few dollars lighter for some other things that I bought. Just don't tell my wife.wink.gif

Now I just have to wait for my foot to heal to cook them up.

 

Mike

post #495 of 1290

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post

The replaceable pads were a primary reason I went with the b/w instead of the pros -- I do too much scrambling over rocks and even walking through the parking lot.  (Saving $100 didn't hurt either.)


Yeah that does look like a disadvantage of the pros, although I think that when necessary, it wouldn't be terribly difficult to grind down the sole and fit those same pads on the Pro model.

 

post #496 of 1290

I'm dying in anticipation to get my boots next Saturday.  Fingers crossed that I reserved the right size (hoping a Nordica 27 is close to a Fischer 27)!

post #497 of 1290



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArchitect View Post

It's pretty amazing to see the difference.  Amazing was the word my bootfitter used a few times to describe the Vacuums.  It appears that Fischer really does have a Game Changer on their hands.  I wonder how the other manufacturers will respond.

 



 If you read further back on this thread. Fischer has exclusive rights for a certain time period to exploit this vacuum system before it can be used by others.

 

 But..........There are other areas of ski boots that can be developed in that time. If you look at the other boot manufactures. Some are smart and not wasting that time. One company that is not standing still is Tecnica with it's upper Powerstrap Buckle, Cuff Mobility System and Interchangeable Soles (comes with Tech and DIN can be ordered) on their Cochise. Those look like good solid features to me.

 

 We shall see what develops..............Skis have come a long way in the last few years. It's getting hard to find a bad one on the new ski walls.  It only makes sense that the boots would need to move or step up ( get it?) to match their performance. Other than the fit, I don't see the need for race boots to change to something with a lot of bells and whistles. It is understood to keep things hearty and simple with them. After all they are made for and focused in for competitors not everyday Joe.

 


Edited by skimalibu - 10/2/11 at 6:01pm
post #498 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911nut View Post

I'm dying in anticipation to get my boots next Saturday.  Fingers crossed that I reserved the right size (hoping a Nordica 27 is close to a Fischer 27)!


Yea, that's the risk.  I'm right between a 26.5 & 27.5 (currently in a 26.5 Hawx) and reserving over the phone is going to be a crap shoot...

 

post #499 of 1290

Just got fitted today with the 110s by Phil at the Starthaus. I was coming out of Salomon Ghosts with custom footbeds and a bunch of work on the shell.

 

As a little background: I'm 6'0" 165 and have extremely small ankles and wide feet (duck feet) that have been a real pain for fitting in the past. I ski about 30 - 40 days per season and rank myself as an advanced but by no means expert skier.

 

I have to say the Fischer end product felt as if it had been custom made for my feet, which in a way it had. The boots are truly "molded" to my feet and I can already tell that the smallest movements will translate directly to the ski.

 

I was really impressed with the attention to detail at Starthaus.  Aside from immediately noticing my chicken legs, Phil also noticed that I have poor dorsiflexion, but good plantarflexion. We compensated for this in the fitting process and I could tell with the end product that I was standing taller and had much better range of motion for flexing the boots. (In the past I would have to use much more quad to drive the boot i.e. I would have to lower my stance - if that makes sense)

 

The Fischer Vacuum system is pretty interesting. You can actually feel the shells molding to your feet during the vacuum process. It felt different than custom liners etc that I have had in the past in that you could feel the whole boot being formed to your feet.  Phil went with the 300psi setting to get the fit around my girlie ankles which turned out to be pretty effective

 

Can't wait to try the new boots with the Bonafides I also picked up today smile.gif

post #500 of 1290

Vacuums and Bonafides, awesome combo right there.

 

I'm just waiting for 110 Flex stock to arrive later this month.  Ugh, the waiting is killing me.

post #501 of 1290

Anybody willing to say what they paid? I have seen prices ranging from 750.00-850.00

 

Thanks

post #502 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeX View Post

Anybody willing to say what they paid? I have seen prices ranging from 750.00-850.00

 

Thanks



Your price range looks about right.  I paid $750 for the Vacuum 110.  DC Ski Center had the Vacuum 130 for $800.  I don't remember what the prices were for the pro race models, but I think it was $850 for the one and $900 for the top model.  There is also the Trinity model for women, which I think they had at $700.00

 

One of the salesmen told me that for the Vacuum boots, they don't get an employee discount, but have to pay the same price as the customers as well.  With the way these boots are going out the door, I'm surprised they are being discounted at all from the MSRP.

post #503 of 1290

A question for everyone, but especially the bootfitters following this thread that have done a few vacuum fits and/or ecpwderhound:

 

A few of us posting here have indicated we are in between shell sizes.  Let's say someone comes to you and really is borderline between shell sizes.  With this technology, is it better to go with the smaller shell and allow the shell to expand to make room where needed?  Or is it better to go with the larger size and allow the shell to compress to fill in the gaps?   Or does it do both equally well so it is basically a toss-up?

 

Thanks!

post #504 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by MephitBlue View Post

Your price range looks about right.  I paid $750 for the Vacuum 110.  DC Ski Center had the Vacuum 130 for $800.  I don't remember what the prices were for the pro race models, but I think it was $850 for the one and $900 for the top model.  There is also the Trinity model for women, which I think they had at $700.00

 

One of the salesmen told me that for the Vacuum boots, they don't get an employee discount, but have to pay the same price as the customers as well.  With the way these boots are going out the door, I'm surprised they are being discounted at all from the MSRP.


Start Haus is charging MSRP but we are also checking canting too, which is usually $195.00 for the full job. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffk View Post

A question for everyone, but especially the bootfitters following this thread that have done a few vacuum fits and/or ecpwderhound:

 

A few of us posting here have indicated we are in between shell sizes.  Let's say someone comes to you and really is borderline between shell sizes.  With this technology, is it better to go with the smaller shell and allow the shell to expand to make room where needed?  Or is it better to go with the larger size and allow the shell to compress to fill in the gaps?   Or does it do both equally well so it is basically a toss-up?

 

Thanks!


Depends, I am finding the the boot is fitting pretty true to length (where a Lange RX/RS tends to run long), obviously need to see how your food measures, weighted and unweighted. 

 


Edited by Philpug - 10/4/11 at 8:03am
post #505 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffk View Post

A question for everyone, but especially the bootfitters following this thread that have done a few vacuum fits and/or ecpwderhound:

 

A few of us posting here have indicated we are in between shell sizes.  Let's say someone comes to you and really is borderline between shell sizes.  With this technology, is it better to go with the smaller shell and allow the shell to expand to make room where needed?  Or is it better to go with the larger size and allow the shell to compress to fill in the gaps?   Or does it do both equally well so it is basically a toss-up?

 

Thanks!

 

To expand a bit upon Phil's (correct) reply, this would also be a preference deal. My observation so far is the the shell can expand a lot (in the midfoot area especially) but only contract a little in the crucial heel ankle area. For a skier who measures "on the line" between 26 and 27, the skier with a strong preference for performance would probably prefer the 26 while the less dedicated skier might prefer the 27. As Phil said, the mass and volume of the foot would go along with the skier's preference in determining the shell size choice. FWIW these are not super aggressive shell shapes. The 95mm Vac Pro is a bit more generous than some other "Plug" type boots.

 

SJ

 


 

 

post #506 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

 

To expand a bit upon Phil's (correct) reply, this would also be a preference deal. My observation so far is the the shell can expand a lot (in the midfoot area especially) but only contract a little in the crucial heel ankle area. For a skier who measures "on the line" between 26 and 27, the skier with a strong preference for performance would probably prefer the 26 while the less dedicated skier might prefer the 27. As Phil said, the mass and volume of the foot would go along with the skier's preference in determining the shell size choice. FWIW these are not super aggressive shell shapes. The 95mm Vac Pro is a bit more generous than some other "Plug" type boots.

 

SJ

 

 

 

 

Would the pressure used during the fitting play into this as well?  If someone opted for the larger size and wanted to tighten the heel, would they go with a higher pressure setting, while someone who opted for the smaller size would use a lower pressure?

 

Also would the padding used be different?  I've seen references earlier in the thread to higher and lower volume toe padding used during the fitting process, so I'm guessing if you went with a larger size, you'd be more likely to use the lower volume toe padding during the fitting process, and perhaps external padding on the heel to help tighten it.
 

Overall I'm getting the impression that you want to size these boots for length and let the molding process take care of width issues.  I guessing the liners are still expected to pack out over time, so I don't know if that means a planned remolding after that happens, or if you should try to fit them tight and expect them to loosen up as you use them.

post #507 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by speden View Post

 

Would the pressure used during the fitting play into this as well?  If someone opted for the larger size and wanted to tighten the heel, would they go with a higher pressure setting, while someone who opted for the smaller size would use a lower pressure?

 

Also would the padding used be different?  I've seen references earlier in the thread to higher and lower volume toe padding used during the fitting process, so I'm guessing if you went with a larger size, you'd be more likely to use the lower volume toe padding during the fitting process, and perhaps external padding on the heel to help tighten it. 

Overall I'm getting the impression that you want to size these boots for length and let the molding process take care of width issues.  I guessing the liners are still expected to pack out over time, so I don't know if that means a planned remolding after that happens, or if you should try to fit them tight and expect them to loosen up as you use them.




Good questions. Again, it will depend upon the overall mass of the foot. The higher pressure ranges (300+) and perhaps some overpadding on the outside can generate more compression in the heel area for sure. However, the higher pressure would also limit to some extent the amount of expansion achieved in say, the forefoot area. The plastic in all boots is much thicker and more heavily contoured in the heel area. While this process provides a result not previously attainable, I wouldn't look for enormous results in that particular area. Rather, I'd tend to go the other direction which is to allow the process to generate more toe room on a smaller booth rather than dramatically tightening up a bigger one. Keep in mind though that the midfoot area back to the navicular (or so) can tighten up quite a bit as can the volume over the roof. These areas can notably snug up a boot that is a touch on the larger side, but I don't think that is something to count on. We are still relying on "normal" shell sizing to provide the correct starting point.

 

SJ 

post #508 of 1290

The last four posts are the exact discussion I was hoping to start with my question.  I wanted to get a better understanding of the range of possibilities with the process.  Thanks so much!  

post #509 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Keep in mind though that the midfoot area back to the navicular (or so) can tighten up quite a bit as can the volume over the roof. These areas can notably snug up a boot that is a touch on the larger side, but I don't think that is something to count on.


How about the cuff in terms of tightening up for us long, skinny, and high calve types who are also blessed with long and low volume feet that are normal width/shape.  I'm 6'2" 170 lbs street size 11 currently a 26.5 100mm last Hawx boot that feel like galoshes after one run and are about as warm.

 

I have an appointment set up for early next week for a fitting and I'll be doing the custom beds, etc.  I just don't want to go down this route if the primary benefit of this boot is expansion for a normal or larger volume foot fitting into a relatively narrow last width.

post #510 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

How about the cuff in terms of tightening up for us long, skinny, and high calve types who are also blessed with long and low volume feet that are normal width/shape.  I'm 6'2" 170 lbs street size 11 currently a 26.5 100mm last Hawx boot that feel like galoshes after one run and are about as warm.

 

I have an appointment set up for early next week for a fitting and I'll be doing the custom beds, etc.  I just don't want to go down this route if the primary benefit of this boot is expansion for a normal or larger volume foot fitting into a relatively narrow last width.

I'm right there with you NayBreak, and wonder about this too.  I'm 6'0" 175lbs 10.5 street shoe in a Hawx 27.5 (too big).  Jack Rafferty at Snowmass fitted me up for some "custom" eliminator shin pads to take up volume in the cuff area.  That worked perfectly for me for 3 seasons as far as comfort and not sliding around.  May have been a little mushy on performance though.  This season, probably for that reason, Mosh at Snowmass had me take those out and run the power strap under the front overlapping part of the cuff directly on the tongue of the liner.  That felt pretty good, but then I must have slid around more because it caused me to get 1 totally black big toenail (lost it finally 2 months ago) and another partially black toenail.

 

All of that to say, I am hoping the Vac process will cause the cuff area to form fit better in the cuff area for those of us with skinny lower legs.    


Edited by cliffk - 10/4/11 at 3:06pm
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